Preliminary round-1st leg
RC Athlétic 10-1 Tourbillon
Unlinzi Stars 0-4 Zamalek
APR 2-2 Club Africain
Zesco United 3-0 Liga Desportiva
APR coach Ernie Brandts insists his team still have a good chance of progressing to the first round of the Orange Champions League despite Saturday’s 2-all draw against Tunisia’s Club Africain.
The Primus league champions trailed on two occasions but fought back in front of a packed Amahoro stadium to salvage a draw ahead of the reverse fixture in two weeks’ time in Tunis.
While conceding that his guns are in for a tough test, Brandts, who was having his first feel of the competition on Saturday, insists that the team can oust the Tunisians.
“The tie is still there for the taking and it is up to us to make that happen. We had a bad first half but responded well in the second half and I feel we had a chance to win the game but we were not very lucky,” the Dutchman noted.
“Of course on paper, they (Club Africain) have the upper hand since they will be playing in their backyard but we won’t let that trouble us. Our mission is to win,” the 55-year-old added.
Club Africain, African champions in 1991, took the lead after 16 minutes through Khaled Melliti but APR defender Donatien Tuyisenge equalised on the 43rd minute. However, the home side’s celebrations were short-lived as Hamza Messaadi restored the visitors’ lead a minute later.
But the army side was not done yet. With 15 minutes to play, Jean Baptist Mugiraneza a.k.a Migi restored parity from the spot.
In Nairobi, Kenya’s Ulinzi Stars had a rough welcome to the competition after a humiliating 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Zamalek.
The result was not shocking considering the fact that the Kenyan champions, who were only making their debut in the competition, were playing against a side which has won the tournament five times.
At half time, the teams were level but Zamalek ran amok in the second half after goals from Mahmoud Fathalla, Mohammed Razak, Mohammed Amine and Ibrahim Saleh to leave a partisan Kenyan crowd which included Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other top government officials shell-shocked.